EFCC arraigns ex-power minister for allegedly receiving N118m bribe | Ripples Nigeria
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EFCC arraigns ex-power minister for allegedly receiving N118m bribe

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The Economic and financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Minister of State for Power, Muhammed Wakil, at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo, Abuja, for alleged abuse of office.

The EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, who disclosed this in a statement sent to Ripples Nigeria, said Wakil was arraigned alongside two companies, Corozzeria Nigeria Limited and Pikat Properties Nigeria Limited, for allegedly receiving N118 million as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited.

The funds, according to the commission, was taken out of the N27.1 billion approved outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The ex-minister was arraigned on a two-count charge of corruption and abuse of office.

One of the charges read: “That you Muhammed Wakil, while being Minister of Power and Managing Director of Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, and Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, on or about 22nd December, 2014, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly receive the sum of N118,000,000.00(One Hundred and Eighteen Million) Naira only through Corozzeria Nigeria Limited’s Polaris Bank Account No. 4010023658 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited out of the sum of N27,188,232,208.20(Twenty Seven Billion, One Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight Naira, Twenty Kobo) only being the sum approved for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 8(1)(b)(ii)of the same Act.”

READ ALSO: EFCC arraigns insurance broker for diverting N26bn PHCN severance benefit

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty when the charges were read out to him.

The EFCC counsel, Benjamin Manji, asked the court to set a date for commencement of trial and remand the defendant at a correctional centre pending trial.

However, the counsel for the defendants, B.C. Igwilo (SAN), prayed the court to grant bail to the ex-minister.

“My lord, our humble application is for the first defendant to be admitted to bail, “he said

But the prosecution counsel opposed the oral application and urged the court to order the defendant to file the application formally.

Justice S.B. Belgore adjourned the matter till March 31 for determination of bail application and remanded the defendant in the EFCC custody.

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